With all the action last week, one might think that official Washington was trying to get everything possible it can done before Memorial Day. Man, a lot of stuff happened last week including the FAA bill losing its energy/tax wings, the “other long-suffering” energy bill springing back to life, the final well control rule, GHG opposition briefs, a new/final-er (I know, it’s not a word) mercury rule and API outlining its items for the Party Platforms this summer.
The demise of the FAA tax credits was offset late last week by the sudden resurgence of the Senate Energy legislation. The FAA failure seemed to catch too many headwinds after it just kept taking on more luggage/passengers than it could handle. As for the new/old energy bill, many of the controversial provisions were just yanked out, so it appears that it may now be headed for final approval as early as next week.
I know many of you are following yesterday’s OPEC meetings in Doha, where 18 OPEC and non-OPEC nations gathered to try and freeze oil production at January levels – only to see talks collapse over Saudi Arabia’s insistence that Iran join the agreement. Our friends at SAFE can speak to a number of the issues. Check in with Ellen Carey at 202-461-2381.
It is a busy week on Capitol Hill. Tomorrow, Senate Environment is hosting Gina McCarthy on the EPA Budget, Senate Energy Looks at oil/gas price determinations and House Homeland Security Looks at Pipeline Security. USFWS head Dan Ashe talks ESA Designations/de-listing challenges as both House Oversight and House Resources hold three separate hearings on the topic this week (my colleague Eric Washburn is excellent on this topic: 202-412-5211).
On Wednesday, the Christian Science Monitor hosts another breakfast with DOE Secretary Moniz and Wilson Center talks hydrogen society/vehicles with Japanese experts while the Hudson Institute looks at Rural Broadband issues (something our friends at NRECA know very well). On Thursday, POLITICO hosts a great energy event featuring my colleague Scott Segal, who will join Sen. Angus King and Rep. David McKinley on a panel to discuss the future of energy.
And so while Friday is Earth Day, it is also the big day for Secretary of State John Kerry when he will join other world leaders in New York to sign the Paris Climate agreement. Sounds Like Gina McCarthy may not join him because she may have to be at the Senate Indians Affairs field hearing in Phoenix.
Finally, as I mentioned last week, today is the last day to file your taxes for 2015, so don’t forget since they gave us 3 extra days…And the Interior Five-Year Offshore Drilling Plan public hearing started this morning in NOLA. Here are the GEST Comments from Lori LeBlanc. Another hearing is Wednesday in Houston and then next Tuesday in DC.
Call with questions.
IN THE NEWS
Well Control Rule Released – BSEE released its long-awaited well control rule on Friday, just days before the six-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon accident. The rule seeks to address safety concerns unearthed in the aftermath of the BP spill. Interior claims to have addressed the concerns of industry enumerated by API and other groups in extensive comments on the proposed rule but that remains unclear. issued a year ago. The rule will go into effect 90 days after it is published in the Federal Register.
GEST LeBlanc: Rule Raises Significant Concerns – Lori LeBlanc, head of the Gulf Economic Survival Team (GEST) said their experts are currently reviewing the final Well Control Rule to determine what changes BSEE has made and whether industry’s recommendations were incorporated into the final rule. “GEST shares BSEE’s intent of adopting a rule that enhances safety and environmental protection and we hope that this final rule will have addressed those technical flaws that would have resulted in unintended consequences and could have made offshore operations less safe,” said GEST Executive Director Lori LeBlanc. “We are very disappointed to see the Interior Department release such a major rule without resubmitting it for public comment and consultation. Given how far off the mark the previous version was, the sheer complexity of the issues at hand, and the lack of substantive dialogue with industry experts during this process, we are concerned that this rule may not be ready for prime time. LeBlanc added that GEST remains concerned about the economic impacts of the rule if several of the provisions have not been corrected, which could result in Gulf energy companies that operate globally deciding to shift investment and jobs to other parts of the world.
WoodMac Study Shows Rules Likely Impacts – Remember, earlier this year, Wood Mackenzie analysts study the rule’s impacts on drilling activities and the economic impacts and the results were not so good. The study found that if the rule as proposed could reduce industry investment in the Gulf by up to $11 billion annually; reduce government tax revenues up to $5 billion annually through 2030, jeopardizing coastal restoration efforts; and place over 100,000 jobs at risk by 2030. “We are concerned that Interior’s decision to go forward with this rule will lead to stranded assets in the Gulf, harming U.S. energy security while dealing a potentially devastating blow to Gulf communities stung by the industry downturn,” said LeBlanc.
Court: BSEE Can’t Hold Contractors Liable – In other offshore drilling news from late last week, a Federal court in New Orleans ruled definitively that BSEE cannot enforce against offshore contractors. BSEE’s claimed authority over offshore contractors that have no leasehold or other rights from the federal government has been in serious contention since the Macondo incident. That’s when BSEE reversed decades of consistent practice and policy to try to regulate entities that Congress never intended. Several offshore contractors have disputed BSEE’s arrogation of enforcement authority and pursued the matter through administrative appeal and federal court action. This decision marks the first federal court decision on the question, and it definitively states and explains the limitations of BSEE’s authority. This decision brings the agency back to core principles of Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and puts to rest the many uncertainties raised by BSEE’s abandonment of longstanding legal policy and precedent. My colleague Kevin Ewing (202-828-7837) can address the issue in depth.
Opposition Reply Briefs Filed in GHG Case – While it is headed for oral arguments in June, another round of briefs from opponents of the rule were filed on Friday. Petitioners representing the 28 states and numerous trade groups and industry supporters responded in the D.C. Circuit on Friday to EPA’s defense of the Clean Power Plan. Most argued the rule isn’t legal saying “EPA ties itself in knots, torn between touting the Rule’s significance and downplaying the extraordinary nature of what it seeks to do. On one hand, EPA describes the Rule as ‘a significant step forward in addressing the Nation’s most urgent environmental threat,’ necessary for ‘critically important reductions in carbon dioxide emissions’ from fossil fuel-fired power plants. On the other hand, EPA claims the Rule is not ‘transform[ative],’ because ‘industry trends’ will result in ‘significant reductions in coal-fired generation … even in the Rule’s absence.'” Intervenors representing six corporations, including the bankrupt Peabody Energy, and the Gulf Coast Lignite Coalition, a group of power and coal companies, filed an intervenor reply brief outlining some similar arguments.
NRECA Weighs In – Rural Coops filed a reply brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit concerning the Clean Power Plan litigation. NRECA Jeffrey Connor said the EPA has crossed a line by assigning itself vast regulatory authority that surpasses anything ever contemplated by Congress. “The agency wants to have it both ways, touting the Clean Power Plan as a major environmental milestone, while downplaying to the point of absurdity the rule’s unprecedented legal overreach. The fact is that EPA didn’t produce a rule simply to reduce emissions—it crafted a radical plan to restructure the U.S. power sector.”
Mercury Rule Finished by EPA – EPA today issued its Supreme Court-ordered fix for an error in its 2012 mercury pollution regulation. The new “appropriate and necessary” finding – this time factoring compliance costs into EPA’s considerations – still concludes it’s proper to regulate mercury emissions from power plants. EPA would have written essentially the same regulation if it had made that finding when it originally considered the issue, it says, and thus the mercury rule will stay in place.
Read the finding here. My colleague Jeff Holmstead said as expected, EPA responded to the Supreme Court’s decision in the MATS case (known as Michigan v EPA) with a new regulatory finding: even taking into account the $9.6 billion a year in regulatory costs, it is “appropriate” to regulate coal-fired power plants under the air toxics provisions of the Clean Air Act. In the Michigan case, the Supreme Court struck down EPA’s earlier finding because the Agency had refused to consider the cost of regulation when it determined that it was “appropriate” to regulate. EPA said that the price tag is still a bargain because MATS will provide public health benefits of at least $37 billion a year. But there is likely to be litigation over this new finding because virtually all of these claimed benefits come from reducing a type of pollution that EPA is not authorized to regulate under the air toxics provisions – so called “fine particle pollution.” Holmstead says the Clean Air Act provides a very detailed regulatory process for regulating fine particles – a process that places clear limits on EPA’s authority. He adds that opponents of last week’s finding are expected to argue that EPA is trying to circumvent those limits by using MATS to require reductions in fine particles that go well beyond what EPA is authorized to do under the fine particles provisions of the Clean Air Act.
Legal Group Claims Internal Emails Show Coordination by AGs on Climate –New York AG Eric Schneiderman and other politically-aligned AGs secretly teamed-up with anti-fossil fuel activists in their investigations against groups whose political speech challenged the global warming policy agenda, according to e-mails obtained by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal). E&E Legal released these emails on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report about a January meeting, in which groups funded by the anti-fossil fuel Rockefeller interests met to urge just this sort of government investigation and litigation against their political opponents. After the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) criticized these AGs’ intimidation campaign, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Claude Earl Walker — one of the AGs working with Schneiderman — subpoenaed 10 years of CEI records relating to the global warming issue. The e-mail correspondence between Schneiderman’s staff, the offices of several state attorneys general, and activists was obtained under Vermont’s Public Records Law, and also show Schneiderman’s office tried to obscure the involvement of outside activists. His top environmental lawyer encouraged one green group lawyer who briefed the AGs before their March 29 “publicity stunt” press conference with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore not to tell the press about the coordination. At that event the AGs announced they were teaming up to target opponents of the global warming agenda. The AGs went as far as trying to claim privilege for discussions and emails even with outside groups in this effort to go after shared political opponents, including each state that receives an open records request immediately alerting the rest to that fact. In that case, according to the Schneiderman office’s draft, every state was to immediately return any records to New York. To its credit Vermont objected to that as, naturally, being against state laws. See the full slate of issues and emails here.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
5-YR Plan Public Meetings Start—The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold public meetings in New Orleans and Houston today and Wednesday on its five-year plan. There will be another in Washington next Tuesday on April 26th. Recently, Interior rolled out the new five-year plan for drilling which set the scope of drilling for the years between 2017-2022. Gulf Economic Survival Team Director Lori LeBlanc said continued energy production in the Gulf of Mexico and support of American energy workers who fuel this nation is essential during a news conference hosted by the Consumer Energy Alliance. “The total economic impact of Gulf energy is immense. It creates jobs in every state in the U.S., with some 430,000 jobs nationwide estimated to link to Gulf energy activity, along with tens of thousands here in Louisiana alone. Those of us on the Gulf Coast are proud to produce the energy to fuel America and we recognize that Gulf oil accounts for nearly one-fifth of our nation’s oil production. The U.S. Treasury directly benefits to the tune of over $5 to $8 billion dollars each year from energy production in the Gulf — making it one of the largest revenue streams for the federal government.”
CEI to Discuss Green Climate Fund – Today at Noon, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) will host a lunch on Capitol Hill to discuss what can be done about two Obama administration efforts to circumvent Congress and push its climate agenda: the Paris Climate Treaty and the Green Climate Fund. The Obama Administration announced it will sign the Paris Climate Treaty along with 130 other nations at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on April 22, 2016. The State Department also announced that the United States will officially become a party to the agreement later in the year. How can the United States become a party to the agreement without going through “its own national legislative requirements” to ratify it, as specified by the UN? CEI experts will discuss what is wrong with this agreement and how Congress can respond. Congress did not appropriate any money for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for FY 2016. Nonetheless, in March the State Department re-programmed $500 million from the Economic Support Fund account to the GCF. Initial contributions by the United States and other developed countries are meant to prepare GCF for full funding of $100 billion per year beginning in 2020. CEI experts will discuss what the Green Climate Fund is and why Congress should not fund this initiative.
JHU to Look at Enviro Diplomacy –Tonight at 6:00 p.m., the Johns Hopkins SAIS program will host a forum on what environmental diplomacy entails and how it differs from standard notions of American diplomacy. The forum will also look at the tactics necessary within negotiating historic agreements. Speakers featured include former State Dept negotiator Dan Reifsnyder and SAIS alum Lynn Wager.
Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 tomorrow at the Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA. Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the uncertainties of shale resource development under low price environment.
Forum to Look at California EV, Grid Connections – Infocast is holding its 2nd Annual EVs & the Grid Summit in Long Beach Marriott in Cali tomorrow looking at transport and power convergence. Automakers will share their views on the market, latest models, and how to overcome adoption hurdles. Third-party solution providers will assess partnership opportunities and requirements for equipment, software, energy storage & conversion and on-site renewables. Policy-makers & utilities will hash out potential business models for capturing new value streams from electrification and a digital, distributed grid. Port & airport authorities, municipalities, fleet managers and commercial building owners will share perspectives and explore partnering opportunities with solution providers.
Senate Enviro to Look at EPA Budget – The Senate Environment Committee will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. examining the President’s FY 2017 budget request for EPA. The hearing will feature EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
Senate Energy to Look Oil, Gas Price – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing to examine challenges and opportunities for oil and gas development in different price environments. Witnesses with include Columbia Energy expert Jason Bordoff, Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute, Michael Ratner of CRS and several others in the oil/gas industry.
House Resources/Oversight to Look at ESA – The House Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow on recent changes to Endangered Species Critical Habitat Designation and Implementation. The hearing will feature Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. My Colleague Eric Washburn is a great resource on the topics. Also on Wednesday and Thursday, the House Oversight Committee looks at barriers to ESA de-listing after a species has recovered. That hearing will be at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday and 9:00 a.m. Thursday in 2154 Rayburn.
House Homeland Security to Look at Pipeline Security – The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on how the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) works with pipeline stakeholders to secure this critical infrastructure. Witnesses will include our friend Andy Black of the AOPL, as well as DHS TSA security official Sonya Proctor, National Grid’s Kathleen Judge for AGA and CRS Energy/Infrastructure expert Paul Parfomak.
Jewell to Speak on National Park Week – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. at the National Geographic Society, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will deliver a major speech on the Obama Administration’s approach to conservation and the need for a course correction in order to ensure healthy lands, water and wildlife for the next century of American conservation. Following Jewell’s remarks, Editor in Chief of the National Geographic Magazine Susan Goldberg will hold a one-on-one conversation with the Secretary on threats facing public lands and Jewell’s vision for the future of conservation. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis will offer opening remarks to celebrate the 100-year milestone of America’s national parks, focusing on connecting with and creating the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. As part of National Park Week (April 16-24), visitors can enjoy all national parks – from iconic landscape parks like Acadia National Park in Maine to urban cultural sites like San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in California – for free.
Forum to Look at European Energy Security – Reuters will host a forum tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. on Europe’s Energy Security. From worries about Russia to the collapse of global energy prices and the rise of renewables, what will Europe’s energy security picture look like in the years to come? This event will be contacted under Chatham House rules. Reuters global affairs columnist Peter Apps will Moderate a panel that includes Roric McCorristin of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, energy analyst Patricia Schouker and Belgian deputy Chief of Mission Thomas Lambert.
Moniz to Headline CSM Breakfast – Following its last breakfast with EPA’s Gina McCarthy, the Christian Science Monitor hosts a live interview with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on the impact of COP21 on Wedensday at 8:30 a.m. at the St. Regis. The theme of the event will be the state of global energy and climate four months after last December’s historic summit in Paris, and just days before leaders convene in New York City for the official signing ceremony. The talk with the Secretary will be followed by an expert panel featuring WRI President Andrew Steer, Georgetown’s Joanna Lewis, WRI’s Andrew Light, and C2ES’s Elliot Diringer.
Forum to Look at Rural Broadband – The Hudson Institute will host a discussion on Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. about closing the urban-rural economic gap through enhancing rural broadband. Hudson Senior Fellow Hanns Kuttner will present a new Hudson report, The Economic Impact of Rural Broadband. Joining him to discuss the industry’s impact and prospects will be. There will also be a panel featuring Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA; Nancy White, CEO of a rural broadband company in Lafayette, Tenn.; and rural broadband consultant Leo Staurulakis.
Senate Approps Panel Looks at EPA Budget – Following up on Senate Enviro’s review of the EPA budget, the Senate Appropriations panel on Interior/Environment will take Its turn with EPA head Gina McCarthy.
House Science Looks at Fusion – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will convene a hearing that will be an overview of Fusion Energy Science. Witnesses will include Dr. Bernard Bigot, Director General, ITER Organization; Dr. Stewart Prager, Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; and Dr. Scott Hsu, Scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
NRC Commissioners Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the NRC Fiscal Year 2017 budget. Commissioners will testify.
WCEE to Look at Solar Power Growth – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion on Wednesday looking at solar power growth over the next 25 years. Forecasts for US solar power penetration in the next 25 years range from almost inconsequential levels to an exponential progression in which solar accounts for nearly all power generation. While these are two extremes and the actual path is likely somewhere in between, WCEE will look “under the hood” at some key projections and the assumptions behind them, based on the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions’ paper of US Solar Power Growth through 2040. Following that, the event will take an up-close look at what the DOE’s SunShot initiative is doing to reduce the soft costs of solar and ensure that solar is fully cost-competitive with other energy sources by 2020. Speaker will include Suzanna Sanborn of Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions and Elaine Ulrich, Program Manager of DOE’s SunShot.
Forum to Look at Electricity Pricing Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a panel discussion on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. looking at time-variant electricity pricing as part of our ongoing series, “Electricity in Transition.” For a century, the retail rate structure in the United States has remained virtually unchanged. Nearly all retail customers in the U.S. pay a flat rate regardless of the time of day or the actual cost of electricity. While this pricing structure insulates consumers from price volatility, it may also lead to inefficiency in resource allocation. Enabled by the increasing deployment of smart meters, some states have been experimenting with new retail rate designs that reflect the fact that wholesale electricity prices vary over the course of the day. Time-variant pricing allows utilities and regulators accurately reflect market dynamics for customers, encouraging more efficient resource distribution. But do consumers actually respond to changing prices and Can time-variant pricing impact the adoption of new distributed energy technologies? The panelists will discuss the objectives of moving to time-varying electricity rates, including the advantages and disadvantages of different rate structures, the distributional impacts of time-variant pricing, and the broader energy, environmental, and economic impacts of time-variant pricing. In addition, panelists will discuss recent experiences with time variant rates in different jurisdictions.
Segal, McKinley Headlining POLITICO Energy Forum – POLITICO hosting a forum Thursday, April 21 at 8:30 a.m. at the W Hotel focused on America’s Energy Agenda. The event will look at new prices and new policies and examines the future of energy. Topics will include fluctuating energy costs and the calculus for Washington regulators and innovation. Strategic priorities for building energy infrastructure and potential changes for a new administration. Featured speakers include Sen. Angus King, Rep. David McKinley and my colleague Scott Segal, as well as BLM’s Neil Kornze, former AWEA head Denise Bode and BCSE’s Lisa Jacobsen.
Forum to Look at Hydrogen Economy – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Embassy of Japan will host a forum on hydrogen. Dubbed “the energy of the future” by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan has been investing heavily on the potential of hydrogen as an alternative energy source. With zero emissions, it is an element that is plentiful, and the prospect for hydrogen-powered cars and hydrogen fuel-cell use at home is alluring. But from advancing the technology to developing the needed infrastructure, the cost to make hydrogen society a reality is high. The event will be a discussion ahead of Earth Day on the prospects of using hydrogen energy, and the outlook for cooperation between the United States and Japan to make hydrogen society a reality.
Panel to Look at Advanced Nuclear Reactors – The Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing Thursday at 9:45 a.m. on enabling advanced reactors and legislation targeting advancing It. Witnesses will include NRC’s Victor McCree, former NRC commissioner Jeff Merrifield, NEI’s Maria Korsnick, and several others.
USEA to Host Penn St Expert on CO2 Transformation – The US Energy Assn will host a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at turning CO2 into sustainable chemicals and fuels. Capturing CO2 and converting it into chemicals, materials, and fuels using renewable energy, is an important path for sustainable development and a major challenge in 21st century. Concentrated CO2 can be used for manufacturing chemicals (lower olefins such as ethylene and propylene, methanol, and carbonates), and fuels (such as liquid transportation fuels or synthetic natural gas). Penn State expert Chunshan Song will be the featured speaker.
NGV Leader to Address NatGas Roundtable – On Thursday, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host Matthew Godlewski, President of NGVAmerica will be the guest speaker at its next luncheon at the University Club. Godlewski’s topic will be: “Natural Gas Vehicles in Today’s Marketplace.”
Forum Look at Enrichment, Processing – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a forum on limiting enrichment and processing of nuclear materials. The United States has long had a policy of discouraging the further spread of dual-use technologies that can be used either to make fissile material for nuclear weapons or for peaceful uses like reactor fuel – that is, uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing. The international community, on the other hand, has long resisted serious limits on enrichment and reprocessing beyond restraining nuclear trade. And yet, the case of Iran illustrates just how close a country can get to a latent nuclear weapons capability in the absence of legally binding restrictions. In light of these challenges, how well is the U.S. policy working? What additional tools might we expect to employ in the coming years? Speakers will include Thomas Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State and Edward McGinnis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy, among several others.
EARTH DAY April 22 – Not only is this Earth Day, but it is expected to be the UN Paris Climate Agreement signing day in New York. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to be in New York as the President will be overseas.
Senate Indian Affairs Field Hearing to Blast EPA – While McCarthy was originally expected to join Kerry, there is rumor that she may have to be in Phoenix at the Senate Indian Affairs field hearing at 12:30 p.m. examining EPA’s unacceptable response to Indian tribes. I guess Sen. McCain is the spoil sport on the signing. While McCarthy may not come, EPA’s assistant administrator of Land/Emergency Management Mathy Stanislaus will for sure attend. Navajo President Russell Begaye, Navajo Council member LoRenzo Bates and Hopi Chairman Herman Honanie, whose reservation is also downstream from Gold King Mine, will also testify.
Water Power Conferences Set for DC – The all-new Waterpower Week in Washington will present three events in one, showcasing the entire world of waterpower. The National Hydropower Association Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference and Marine Energy Technology Symposium will all take place at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., April 25-27.
Forum to Look at Energy Policy In the 2016 – Election The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a day-long seminar on Tuesday, April 26th looking at U.S. Energy Policy in the 2016 Elections. The event will feature panel discussions on the importance of bipartisan Energy Policy, oil/natgas production, distribution and refining, the electric power sector, the future of transportation and State and City leadership. Each election cycle affords policymakers an opportunity to assess the state of the nation’s energy sector in the context of shared objectives and within the context of a dynamic global energy landscape. U.S. energy policy is driven by economic, security, and environmental priorities, but fundamental tensions continue to exist between those priorities and among the various constituencies involved in the nation’s energy sectors. The purpose of this conference is to inform the current debate on U.S. energy policymaking and assess what areas are ripe for action.
CSIS to Look at Financing Production Resilience – On Thursday, April 28th, CSIS Energy and the National Security program will host a conversation with former Vice Chairman of NY Mercantile Exchange Albert Helmig, Energy Intelligence Energy Casey Sattler and Betsy Graseck of Morgan Stanley, moderated by our friend Kevin Book. Oil and gas producers have responded to six consecutive calendar quarters of price weakness by high-grading production, downsizing workforce and paring back capital spending. Financial investors’ continuing appetite for oil industry debt – and, more recently, equity – has continued to support U.S. production, too. Unexpectedly resilient output and stubbornly low commodity prices continue to erode corporate resources, however, raising several imminent questions.
Pollution Agencies to Host Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ will hold its 2016 Spring Meeting on April 28th and 29th at the Columbia Marriott in Columbia, South Carolina. The event will feature panels and presentations related to multipollutant planning, NOx controls, the Clean Power Plan, NAAQS implementation, Clean Air Act cost-benefit analysis, and legal updates.
BPC to Focus on Water/Energy Book – On Thursday, April 28 at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center holds a book session on “Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival” by author Michael Webber and a discussion about the interconnections between energy and water, their vulnerabilities, and the path toward a more reliable and abundant future for humanity. Although it is widely understood that energy and water are the world’s two most critical resources, their vital interconnections and vulnerabilities are less often recognized. A new book offers a fresh, holistic way of thinking about energy and water—a big picture approach that reveals the interdependence of the two resources, identifies the seriousness of the challenges, and lays out an optimistic approach with an array of solutions to ensure the continuing sustainability of both.
Forum to Look at LNG – The Atlantic Council hosts the US LNG Exports and European Energy Security Conference on Thursday April 28th. The event takes place shortly after the inauguration ceremony of Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana and will discuss the implications of US LNG exports on European energy security in the context of climate action post Paris COP21 and changing global energy markets. There is an excellent list of great speakers, including a wide array of Foreign ministers from European countries on a panel moderated by our FP friend Keith Johnson. A second panel moderated by our friend Amy Harder of the Wall Street Journal will include API’s Marty Durbin and DOE’s Paula Gant among others.
Sustainable Factbook to Be Released – On Friday, April 29th at Noon in B-338 Rayburn, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will hold a briefing that will provide information on the rapid changes occurring in the U.S. energy sector. The findings of the “2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook” show that the U.S. energy sector, and the power sector in particular, have experienced unprecedented growth in newer, cleaner sources of energy. The briefing will feature an overview presentation by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) on the findings from the Factbook, followed by a moderated industry panel with senior executives from a range of clean energy industries. Speakers for this forum include BNEF’s Colleen Regan, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson, AGA’s Kathryn Clay, SEIA’s Katherine Gensler, Owen Smith of Ingersoll Rand, Covanta’s Paula Soos, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls and Jeff Leahey of the National Hydropower Association.
WCEE to Look at Paris Implementation – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion on Friday, April 29th at Noon on the role of states in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement. Maryland Public Service Commissioner Anne Hoskins, DOE Deputy Director for Climate, Environment & Energy Efficiency Judi Greenwald and EPRI’s Steve Rose will all , Senior Research Economist, Electric Power Research Institute all look at the options states considering to continue de-carbonizing the electricity generation sector and what role of regulators will play in achieving these goals.
IEEE to Host Transmission Technology Conference – IEEE will hold its annual Transmission PES Conference in Dallas at the Convention Center May 2-5. The electric grid is undergoing transformations enabled by the integration of new technologies, such as advanced communication and power electronic devices and the increasing penetration of distributed generation. Such changes introduce a new paradigm in the cultural infrastructure of power systems, which requires a great deal of cooperation between utilities, power generation companies, consumers, governments and regulators.
EIA to Present International Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday May 11th at 9:30 a.m. to present the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016). The IEO2016 includes projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source through 2040; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Among other topics, Sieminski will discuss EIA’s view on long-term petroleum and other liquids fuel supplies, prospects for global natural gas markets, energy demand growth among developing nations, and key uncertainties that may alter the long-term projections.
Solar Summit Set For AZ – On May 11 and 12 in Scottsdale, Arizona, the 9th annual Solar Summit will dive deep into a unique blend of research and economic market analysis from the GTM Research team and industry experts. This year’s agenda will feature themes from Latin America to BOS to the Global Solar Market. DOE’s Lidija Sekaric and ERCOT’s Bill Magness lead a large group of speakers.
CSIS to Hold Development Forum – The second annual Global Development Forum (GDF) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on May 19. The GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector. The 2016 GDF seeks to address the complex issues highlighted by the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Participants will examine the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of global trends including rising incomes, rapid urbanization, uneven economic growth, and widespread unemployment. In particular, discussions will explore ways in which official donors and key partners, including the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions can improve livelihoods, strengthen governance, and facilitate access to key resources including food, energy, and infrastructure.
Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC. More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/